Date: 02 Jun 2013 01:19 Title: Chapter 18
And so ends Malcolm Reed. I’m with Lili, I’m glad he didn’t suffer long nor did he have to be alone so long. It seemed that her death took a lot out of him … I don’t imagine he would be hunched over and leaning against the doorway before her death. I feel like he wanted it to happen and he admits as much. Still, it’s sad to see him go. After all, he has his entire family there, extended and all, and he’s the father of them all in one way or another. The companionship, the lack of togetherness he felt early on, it has gone away now. He had this perfect togetherness here … and he has to go.
It was his day and he says it with a strange mix of finality and acceptance. I get that, he wanted to be with Lili and that desire seemed to override any desire he had to watch his grandchildren grow up and get married on their own. It was a sad way for Malcolm to go but he went happily I feel. Jia being the last one with him and the dialogue between the two was the highlight of the chapter for me. Malcolm’s crack about spies being felled by such temptresses … that made me smile.
I wanted this scene to belong to the two of them. Jia is someone only seen a little bit (I really should write her more), and she's almost an outsider, like he was almost an outsider within the arrangement (Leonora is the other outsider).
When he talks about how he thinks Lili is there, but she isn't, and he rationalizes it to himself over and over again, this really happened with an aunt of mine when my uncle suddenly passed (it's 7 years now, whoa). She said she would think of him as being in the back yard, or the car coming into the driveway, and it comforted her for a few split seconds.
Malcolm's end is a bit like Michael Corleone's in the third Godfather film. Corleone is alone in a garden and his chair just tips over and all sorts of scenes play by, scenes from all three films, of course. But Corleone was alone and I didn't want Malcolm to be alone. So he is with Jia, who can listen to him and even ask him for advice at the end, and help him to feel the things he didn't feel during the series - that he is loved, he is wanted, he is listened, he is appreciated, and he is family.
One thing, which is mentioned in the last chapter, is about all of the quotations. These are the words that Q has been playing back in his mind. Words make sense at the time. And sometimes they're predictive. But they can also come back to haunt you.